“Scripture sees hell as self-chosen…Hell appears as God’s gesture of respect for human choice. All receive what they actually chose, either to be with God forever, worshipping Him, or without God forever, worshipping themselves” (J.I. Packer).
In our household, we have a rule. We care more about honesty than mistakes. If our children come to us honestly and admit a mistake, they won’t get in trouble. We’ll discuss the issue and possible ways to do better next time, and the incident is over. However, if our children are confronted about something and then choose to lie, then they’ll get in trouble double: First for the infraction and then for lying. That’s how important it is to my husband and I that honesty is practiced in our home. We care more for the heart of our children than their actions.
When I read the above statement by J.I. Packer, I was reminded of our household rule. It’s quite simple. Most of what we face in life boils down to a choice. We can choose to tell the truth and live in peace or we can choose to lie and eventually the consequences of dishonesty will catch up to us. We can choose to live authentically or we can choose to forever look over our shoulder while we cover up half-truths and try to remember what we told to whom, when.
Some choices we make don’t matter as much. What we make for dinner, whether or not we clean the house, or what hobby we want to pursue. Other choices do. The spouse we marry, the job we pursue, and whether or not to have children. However, despite how important some of the above choices are, the most important choice we make is whether we worship ourselves or God.
As with truth and lies, there is no middle ground regarding who we worship. We can’t pretend to worship God while worshipping ourselves and we can’t worship ourselves while thinking we’re worshipping God. It’s a heart thing and God knows better than anyone with whom our heart lies. In Matthew 12:30, God is very clear regarding the fact there is no middle ground when it comes to the allegiance of our heart. “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me” (NLT).
© 2013 Cheri Swalwell